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Restoration of the Deposites.
[JUNE 2, 1834.
1832 1833 1834
Aggregate statement of the Banks in the City of N. York. duce such a result is, that it gains, in addition to the disJanuary,
18,755,000 34,117,000 00 12,005,000 00 count or interest, the difference of exchange; and the 20,175,000 38,080,000 00 12,215,000 00 same gentleman states, that “the amount of premiums 22,730,000 46,496,000 00 15,402,000 00
on domestic exchange received by the bank for the same Aggregate statement of the Banks in the City and Coun- period, (one year,) was $217,249,560. Its interest, then,
ty of Philadelphia. In the loans are included stocks is promoted by this increase of domestic exchange; and held by the Banks.
it has the power to increase it; and it can do all this seNovember, 1831 9,433,800 18,083,361 18 4,403,299 29 Icretly, for none of these operations are seen even by the
10,849,615 20,741,562 24
23,134,261 08 5,284,515 73 merchant, except the fact, that the bank cannot accomIt will be seen, from these statements, that there has modate except on exchange bills. been a small but gradual increase of the banking capital,
Let any merchant, or reflecting man, now contemplate and of the loans and circulations, in all these states and the fact, that 241,000,000 of domestic exchanges were cities. As the increase of population and of business has made in 1832 by that bank, as stated; and then ask himself called for more banking capital, the States have increased if the balances of the trade between the different sections it, and the loans and notes circulated have nearly the of our country would, in one year, amount to that sum? same proportion as existed before the capitals were in.
It is not the whole trade, but only the balances of the creased. There has been, in no State or city, any great trade, that ordinarily pass in bills of exchange from one and sudden extension of the loans upon the same capital, section of the country to another; and these do not all, as there has in the United States Bank. There has been or nearly all, pass through that bank; and the amount no great or sudden decrease in the loans or circulations. stated may not so readily be accounted for, as in conThese institutions, all of them, have been conducted with cluding that the bank has pursued its own interest in taxa degree of moderation and regularity greatly creditable ing the business of the country in the mode supposed, or to them, and contrasting very favorably for them with in some better mode, perhaps, ascertained from its own the United States Bank. They certainly are not charge experience. If this be its interest and its course, then it able with having contributed to produce the rise and fall can have no wish to keep the exchanges very low or of property suddenly--nor have they deranged the mon- very regular; and it may have as few merits in regulating eyed operations of the country. Judging from facts, exchange, as it has in regulating the State banks. then, and not from theory, the United States Bank, in
The fact that it did put the whole domestic exchanges stead of acting as a regulator of the State banks, has acted into the hands of a committee, and kept its proceedings as the disturber of the moneyed and business operations secret from even its own board of directors; and that it of the community:
has lately refused to permit the committee of the House Expansion and contraction is chargeable upon it, not of Representatives to see the correspondence or examine upon the State institutions. If any one is not satisfied into the proceedings of the exchange committee, authorthat it has so acted--can any one doubt that it has power izes the most unfavorable inferences to be drawn. And so to act-and that of course it is capable of bringing the it is not difficult to understand, that much of the disorder dealings of our people, and their best interests, within in the exchanges of the country, which has been comits control, or making its influence felt in destroying the plained of as one of the causes of the distress, may be prosperity of those who refuse obedience to its will? found first in the multiplication of bills of exchange, and
Another merit claimed for it, is that of equalizing the then in breaking up all this class of paper, by refusing to exchanges. And a distinguished member of the House receive them at all, or only at extravagant rates. [Mr. Binney] makes a “statement of the uses which
There must be an examination of the bank before the the Bank of the United States has annually afforded, in people will be satisfied, or ought to be satisfied, that, various ways, to the people of the United States;” and instead of merit, there have not been deep and lasting among these uses is that “of making a total of domestic injuries inflicted upon them in the exchanges of the exchanges” (for the year 1832, as I understand bim) country. $241,717,910. I pass for a moment from the extraordi. Upon another topic I wish to say a few words. It is nary amount to say, that if it has such a control over the in relation to the seitling up of the concerns of the bank. domestic exchanges as to be enabled to regulate them, It has been stated by the Senator from Massachusetts, then it has such a control as to be enabled to derange (Mr. Websten,) that he is of opinion that the bank ought them. The whole course of domestic exchange then, it to call in its capital much faster than it does, if the charter holds within its power, to increase or diminish, regulate is not to be renewed. And several of those, and some in or disturb, at pleasure, and that without limitation or re- high places, with whom I act, have regarded it as proper striction of this power imposed by law. Is there nothing that the bank should prepare to wind up its concerns; in this scene to induce reflecting merchants and men of and seem to suppose and to admit, that some distress must business to pause before they prolong and perpetuate the be occasioned by it. From this opinion I entirely dissent; existence of such a power unrestrained by any law? if by a preparation to wind up its affairs, is meant any But the bank can make money plenty in the West, and thing more than that of bringing its long loans into paper scarce in the East—or the reverse—by loaning freely for of the usual business term, and disposing of its real estate a few months, or perhaps weeks, in one section of the not needed, and bringing its whole property into common country and by curtailing in another section. Suppose it business paper. So much, in my judgment, should it do; to desire to obtain bills of exchange from the West upon
nothing more. the East-it has only to withhold all discounts at the
The bank charter expires on the 3d day of March, West, except for bills on the East, and while it is doing 1836, but it exists for two years longer, or till the 3d of this freely, discount any paper at the East, and thus in March, 1838, for the “ liquidation of the affairs and acduce acceptances merely on the credit of the drawer. counts of the corporation, and for the sale and disposition When these bills become payable, it has only to require of their estate, real, personal, and mixed.” If it proceeds the payment, and discount only bills drawn in the East to collect in its debts, it must loan again, or permit the on the West or South—and thus changing the places of amount thus collected to remain unemployed in its vaults. plenty and scarcity, it can multiply domestic bills to al- It cannot divide its capital amongst its stockholders, until most any amount, even when the demand for them from its charter for business expires. It would be doing inregular business operations is small.
justice to the stockholders to collect the capital and perIs it not interested to produce such a result? And mit it to remain unemployed in its vaults till 1836,' be. what is its effects upon the people? Its interest to pro. cause they would lose the interest on the wholc sum thus
JUNE 2, 1834.]
Restoration of the Deposites.
unemployed. And it would be extremely oppressive decision that the charter is, or is not violated, and it is and ruinous to the community to collect in the capital therefore of comparatively little importance, and ought and lock it up from the stockholders and withdraw it not to change any man's opinion as respects the mischiess from the active capital of the country. To do this is, for charged upon it. the time that it is locked up, the same in effect upon the To restore the public money to the bank, as the resobusiness of the country as to destroy so many millions of lution proposes, unless the bank is to be re-chartered, its active capital. And when I hear it said that it will would be without any object of practical good; and it do this, I regard it as evidence, if it does do it, that its must therefore be regarded as a declaration, that it ought deliberate purpose is to distress the community and de- to be re-chartered, and that it is expedient to do this; press and injure its business, for the purpose of compelling while the bank maintains a perfect secrecy over all its imihe people to consent to yield to its power and give it a new portant proceedings; while it shuns the light, and keeps charter. But why will not the same effect be necessarily itself dark, and thus exhibits the usual evidences of guilt. produced if it delays the collection of its debts and the To legislate thus is, in my judgment, to declare that an calling in of its capital till after 1836? It must then, it institution which has power to destroy the State banks; may be said, during two years, call in its capital, and it to derange the business concerns of the country; to bring will be only putting off the evil day. But a moment's ruin and distress upon the people; to cause all their prop. reflection is required to show that no injury, no distress erty and earnings to be held in uncertainty and insecuri. need be produced in collecting all its capital in two years ty, if held at all
, should be continued, without any reafter 1836. And the reason is, that after 1836 it may straint being imposed upon it by law to prevent these evils. distribute and pay out its capital to the stockholders as And it is to do this, after we have seen the danger, and fast as it is collected. There will be then no occasion experienced in our deep distress its mischievous power. for locking up any portion of its capital-certainly only To the people must be submitted the question, whether for a few days only long enough after a portion is re- the bank shall shield itself in darkness, and put at defi. ceived, to give notice and to distribute it. It is perfectly ance the legislative power of the people, and yet, by its well understood, that any amount of money may change oppressions, cause them to yield to its purposes, and thus hands in a country, and occasion no distress, so derange. enable it to rule the nation. To their decision, and theirs ment of business; while a comparatively small amount only, am I willing to submit this contest. withdrawn from employment, will have that effect. The Mr. CLAY asked for the yeas and nays, which were reasons are so plain to every reflecting mind, that it is ordered. not necessary to enter upon their discussion. To collect Mr. TIPTON, with permission, moved that the vote the capital of the bank after 1836, and pay it over to the rejecting the bill for the relief of Mountjoy Baily, be stockholder-s, is only to cause so many millions to change reconsidered; and then laid the motion on the table. hands. The person or corporation which employs it is Mr. FORSYTH (at half past five o'clock) moved that changed; but the money in the hands of the stockholders the Senate adjourn; but the motion was negatived, ayes is employed or loaned, and does the same office which it 18, noes 23. did when the bank employed or loaned it.
Some further remarks were made by Mr. BENTON All this is most familiarly known to those who manage and Mr. CLAYTON, when the question was taken on the the bank; a nd if they do at any time cause the capital or amendment of Mr. Berton, and decided as follows: any part of it to be lucked up and remain withdrawn YEAS.-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, from the stockholders and from business, it can be only Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, Morris, Robinson, from a wanton purpose of mischief. Let the people then Shepley, White, Wilkins, Wright.–14. keep in min d, that the coming distress which is threaten- NAYS.-Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Chamed from this process, if it does come, is brought upon bers, Clay, Clayton, Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, them designedly and unnecessarily, to compel them to Kent, Knight, Leigh, Mangum, Moore, Naudain, Poinobedience to the bank.
dexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Silsbee, When complaint is made that the bank violates its trust, Smith, Southard, Sprague, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, and refuses to disclose any of its proceedings, and refuses Tyler, Waggaman, Webster.-31. to be examined, it is asked, why a scire facias is not is
So the amendment was negatived. sued? Why do you not bring the bank into the court, Mr. BENTON moved to commit the resolutions to the and try out the question before a jury, whether it has Committee on Finance, with instructions to report an violated its charter?
amendment, regulating the deposites of public money in 'The answer is quite plain and easy. The reason is, the State banks. that such a course will be productive of no practical good.
On this amendment he asked the yeas and nays, which A violation of the charter may take place without any were ordered. fault, but that of negligence on the part of the bank. The question was then taken on the motion to amend, So the greatest mischiefs and abuses may exist, and yet and decided in the negative, as follows: there may be no technical and legal violation of the YEAS.- Messrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, charter. If the charter were to be declared forfeited, it Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, Morris, Shepley, .could not possibly be so determined, but a few months White, Wilkins, Wright.-13, before it expires by law. And whether it has, or bas NAYS. Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Cham. not, violated the charter, does not afford us any light to bers, Clay, Clayton, Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, legislate wisely for the benefit of the country. The Kent, Knight, Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Naudain, Poinquestion for us to consider, as legislators, is not whether dexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Silsbee, there has been a technical violation of charter, but whether Smith, Southard, Sprague, Swift, Tipton, Tomlinson, the bank has been an instrument of good or of evil to the Tyler, Waggaman, Webster.-32. country. We wish to be informed whether it has ex- Mr. FORSYTH then moved to divide the question on pended its money to corrupt the press; whether it has the resolutions, the two propositions being different in designedly deranged the business concerns, and brought their character, so that a distinct vote might be taken on distress and ruin upon us; whether it acts as a regulator each. or disturber of the exchanges, and of the loans, and cir- This, Mr. CLAY assented to. culations of the country; and whether it is now engaged Mr. FORSYTH said, that as honorable gentlemen bad in the same course in secret, and may be expected to con-expressed a great willingness that a scire facias, or other tinue it. None of these matters will be ascertained by al proceeding, should be instituted, with a view to inquire
Restoration of the Deposites.--Harrisburg (Pa.) Memorial.
(JUNE 3, 1834.
into its proceedings, and to ascertain whether it had vio- cias could be issued, to cover any more ground than was lated its charter, he would make a proposition, if he could embraced in the finding of a committee. obtain any encouragement from the opposite side, which After a few words from Mr. FORSYTH in reply, both should effect that object. He proposed to offer the fol- resolutions were ordered to be engrossed for a third lowing, as a substitute for the resolutions, to follow the reading. word Resolved:
The Senate then adjourned. “ That a scire facias be issued by the proper officer, to try immediately if the charter of the Bank of the United
TUESDAY, JUNE 3. States has been forfeited: “ 1st. Because the corporation has advanced money to
HARRISBURG (PA.) MEMORIAL. a foreign Government, without being previously author- Mr. McKEAN said, a committee of thirty citizens, of ized to do so by act of Congress.
the first respectability, from various sections of Pennsyl“2d. Because the whole power over the management vania, all of whom, he believed, were now in the lobby of the institution has been placed, by resolution, in the of the Senate, had honored him by putting into his charge hands of a few persons, and has not been exercised by a memorial to be presented to the Senate, signed by more the board of directors, as required by the charter. than 200 delegates from the different counties of that
“3d. Because the bank has failed to perform its duties State, who assembled at Harrisburg, the seat of Governunder the pension laws, not having transmitted money ment, on the 27th ultimo, to consult as to the cause of placed in its possession to pay pensioners, when required public distress and mode of relief. And though, he said, by proper authority.
a difference of political opinion, as well as on questions 54th. Because the corporation has refused, under ya of abstract expediency, existed between a portion of the rious pretexts, to submit to an examination of its books memorialists and himself, it was nevertheless his desire and proceedings, by a committee of the House of Repre- to represent them fairly; and it was no less his pride sentatives of the United States, specially appointed for than his duty to say, that this convention comprised that purpose.
as much respectability, talent, and weight of public and “ 5thBecause the money of the corporation had been private character, as any convention of men that had asloaned to individuals and expended in disseminating sembled any where within his knowledge, and whose expamphlets and speeches throughout the United States, to perience entitled their opinions to the most respectful influence popular elections, and to procure a renewal of|consideration. its charter.
He had been furnished with a statement showing the “6th and lastly, For any other causes operating as a for general, as well as political, complexion of the conven. feiture that can be established by evidence, in the belief tion, and he took occasion to say, that the latter was corof the district attorney of the United States whose duty roborated by his own knowledge of the facts as stated. it is to issue the said scire facias.”
The whole number of delegates present was 209; of this Mr. CLAY said, if the gentleman would bring forward number, 75 were original Jackson men, about 30 of whom a distinct proposition for issuing a sire facias, to try whe- supported General Jackson in 1832. Delegates were ther the bank' has or has not violated its charter, he would appointed from 48 counties, and delegates were in acgive the gentleman a carte blanche to fill it up as he pleas- tual attendance from 44 counties, including the city of ed. All he desired was to sustain the law and the con- Philadelphia, accidents having prevented the attendance stitution. But he could not take the resolution as a sub- of the other four. He had been particularly instructed stitute for these resolutions.
to say, that the entire proceedings had been distinguished Mr. WEBSTER signified his assent to this statement.
for barmony, unanimity, and zeal, and the whole characMr. FORSYTH then made a few observations, explain- ter of the convention furnished the strongest evidence of ing that he had not intended to press for a scire facias. He a great political change in Pennsylvania, and a growing would not move it distinctly, but was willing to make it opposition to the recent measures of the present adminisas a substitute. The issuing of a scire facias would be tration of the General Government. The memorial was productive of much distress, and he desired to share the written with great force and ability, and condemns, in responsibility of the act with the gentlemen on the other tolo, the conduct of the Executive branch of the Govern. side.
ment in reference to the bank; to which cause they as. Mr. CLAYTON said, that whenever the gentleman cribe all the present distress of the country, and ask Confrom Georgia should present a distinct proposition for a
for relief. scire facias, founded on the report of the committee of
Mr. McKean then presented the memorial, and moved the House, he should have his vote. To send a scire fa- that it be read, referred to the Committee on Finance, cias not founded on the report of the committee, would and printed, with the names. lead to no result, as the court could not look at it.
The memorial having been readMr. FORSYTH admitted that the course indicated by
Mr. WEBSTER immediately rose, and addressed the the gentleman from Delaware was the regular one; but Senate. Is this, sir, (said he,) ihe voice of Pennsylvania? it was impracticable to have the previous report of a That is a question of very great interest at the present committee, when the bank would not permit any com-moment. The whole country has a concern in it. Is miitee to examine the books. But would the gentleman this the voice of Pennsylvania? if this be her voice, then agree to vote for this proposition as a substitute for the we may hope that the day of relief and of safety is apresolutions?
proaching. If this be her voice, it is a voice of health, Mr. CLAYTON replied that there was a report of a land of rescue. The work of relief will prosper, it will committee, on which a scire facias might issue; or the proceed, if her heart be in it, and her strong hand be put President could of himselt issue a scire fucias.
to it. Pennsylvania is one of those great central States, Mr. FORSYTH admitted that the President had the on whose determination, and on whose conduct, every right, but he could not advise the President on the sub- thing in regard to the future condition of the country sees ject, as he had no connexion with him.
to bang. If this centre moves with intelligence, union, Mr. CLAYTON then said, that if the gentleman would and patriotism, nothing can resist its force. For one, I put his proposition in a form which would not interfere believe that the sentiments expressed in this memorial with these resolutions, and would take the whole respon are, to a very great extent, the sentiments of Pennsylvania. sibility, he should have his vote. But he must be under- I believe this is her voice. The proofs, I think, are saus. stood as not giving, himself, any sanction that a scire fa-l factory. They come in numerous expressions of opinion,
June 3, 1834.]
(SENATE. in a thousand forms, from all parts of the State itself, and state of things, and uniting to pray relief from Congress. they may be gathered from the workings of public opin- I have the honor of knowing several of these gentlemen ion, in other portions of the country. In this hall, and personally, and many others by reputation. The conthe other, I see evidence, if I mistake not, that those who vention was not composed altogether of delegates from know Pennsylvania best, believe her to entertain the any one political party. Various parties, various descripopinions expressed in the paper which has now been read, tions of polical men, united in its proceedings. and believe, also, that she will soon show herself in earnest It is known that there exists in Pennsylvania a large, in maintaining them. She has been an ardent friend and a active, and zealous anti-masonic party; and I see, among steady supporter of the present Chief Magistrate. Among the members of the meeting, many distinguished names the very first to espouse his cause, from warm gratitude belonging to that party. These gentlemen came to the for his great services, a strong conviction of his honesty convention, not to lose their own distinct character, not and patriotism, and a confiding trust in his ability to ad- to give up their own principles of association, but to sigminister the Government, she has adhered faithfully to nify that, in this crisis, and on the great questions which her attachment. Three times she has given him her vote now agitate the whole country, they think as others for the Presidency, and she has not faltered in her sup- think, and as Americans ought to think, and that they port, heretofore, although there have been measures, hold fast to the constitution and laws. tonching her vital interests, in which nearly every one of Sir, I am happy to say that I know no party or body of her delegation here, and a vast majority of her own Le citizens in the country, whose principles and opinions, on gislature, have been constrained to differ from the Presi. all its leading interests, are more thoroughly sound and. dent. She has seen and regretted what she thought er. patriotic than those of the anti-masons of Pennsylvania. rors; but she has remembered great services and great i know no gentlemen more worthy of trust, in every reexploits, and has gone on with her characteristic steadi- spect, than those who are placed in the public councils ness. It is not wonderful that she should be slow and re- here by their influence and their votes. It is true that luctant in withdrawing confidence where she had bestow- the party has a distinct object of its own, which it keeps ed it in such bountiful measure. I would not suggest constantly in sight, and which it pursues with steadiness that, even now, Pennsylvania abates her personal kindness and zeal; but it is equally true, that it shows itself, always, and regard for the Chief Magistrate who has been so of- unwavering and steadfast in its attachment to the constiten the man of her choice. No doubt she would desire to tution, in its maintenance of the authority of law, in its see him go through his career with success and honor; but love of liberty, and in its support of the great interests I believe, sir, that her citizens perceive the true character and true policy of the country. and feel the disastrous effects of those measures which The whigs, sir, were also represented in this conventhe administration has been recently led to adopt, and tion, and it will be seen, by its proceedings, that they have that they are convinced that it is their duty to oppose those avowed sentiments and principles worthy of their name, measures, by every thing which belongs to their interest, Nor arc these all. It appears, also, from the memorial. and to their character, as Pennsylvanians. In all this, it itself, that nearly one-third of the whole convention was is possible I may be deceived. The sentiment of Penn-composed of friends and supporters of the present Exsylvania may be fixed the other way. My hopes, my ecutive. Seventy-five Jackson men, as they have been earnest wishes, may mislead me; but I shall not give up called, are on the roll of members. Will not this striking these hopes while it is possible to retain them, because fact produce its effect on gentlemen here? Will it not they are intimately connected with all the expectation cause them to open their eyes to the progress of opinion, which I cherish for a return of the prosperity of the and their minds to the force of truth? You will observe, country.
sir, that this convention did not call itself a whig conMr. President, the immediate difficulty in our condi- vention, a national republican convention, nor an antition is to convince the friends of the administration here, masonic convention; but it called itself a “convention of and the President himself,, that the country is either dissat- delegates from the citizens of Pennsylvania opposed to isfied or distressed. The pertinacity with which men here Executive usurpation and abuse." It adopted a name, cling to this “ experiment," exceeds all former experi- or used a description, broad enough to comprehend all ence. They can see no proof of distress, they can hear those who, however they might differ in other things, po sounds of just complaint. All the excitement which united in the objects of this meeting. Now, sir, how is exists in the country, they insist upon it, is produced by it possible, that so numerous and respectable a conventhe bank, by panic-makers, by party politicians. All the tion, thus composed of gentlemen belonging to distinct memorials come, they say, from the President's enemies. parties, and to different political associations, could be If we stand up here to present the petitions of the people, brought together, and be found adopting this memorial, and to press them on the attention of the Senate, we are with entire unanimity, if there were not some strong called panic-makers! If we speak of the multitudes who conviction, common to all; some general and concurring flock together, at public meetings, to memorialize Con- sense of public distress, and public danger? gress, we are told they are all bank agents. Farmers, me- Sir, they have acted wisely and patriotically; they have chanics, laborers, traders, manufacturers, and merchants, remembered that they have a common country, a common come here, by hundreds of thousands, but we are told liberty, and, in times of danger, a common duty. They they are all but a few noisy political partisans. Sir, an have felt that, whatever else they may be, they are yet all end to this delusion must some time come, It cannot last Americans, all Pennsylvanians, all lovers of liberty and forever; and, if any thing short of an overwhelming de- the constitution. The administration is deceived, there. feat at the ballot boxes will ever convince the supporters fore, sir, the President himself is deceived, greatly, if ne of the present measures that the people are against them, supposes this convention to have been assembled by the they migbt be, in some degree, satisfied by the character agency of the bank, by any mere party operation, or by of this convention at Harrisburg, the circumstances at- any desire to create panic. Let us look to individuals, tending it, and the result of its proceedings. It was a let us see who composed the convention, that we may convention consisting of two hundred and fifty delegates, judge the better of the weight due both to its declaracoming from forty-four counties, out of fifty-two, which tions and its opinions. the State contains. These delegates assembled, sir, from I perceive, sir, that there was placed in its chair, a places some of them three hundred miles apart, at a very Washington counly farmer, Joseph Lawrence; a man, busy season of the year, in obedience to the will of their sir, well known in this Capitol; a man of the simplest reconstituents, for the purpose of consulting on the present publican habits, and the sternest republican virtues; a
(JUNE 3, 1834.
= man who has served his fellow-citizens in distinguished delusive; that numerous establishments are closed, and public stations with much credit, and has gone back to others crippled; that the loss of property has been afflict. the cultivation of his own farm with real Roman simplici- ing, and that the suspension of business deprives labor of ty. Sir, all the banks in the world, and all the panic. wages, and of bread. Is this true? Is this representamakers and political partisans in the world, could not tion fact or fiction? Have two hundred and fifty gentlebring him over the Alleghany to Harrisburg, there to men been sent to Harrisburg, by their friends and reigh. put his name to a paper containing these sentiments and bors, that they may raise a false cry, put statements upon ihese statements, unless he fully believed them all to be paper which are not true, and send thirty of their own true.
number to Washington), to impose on Congress with a In the preliminary arrangements of the meeting, and pretended but false story of distress? also in its subsequent proceedings, I observe that General The memorial speaks of Pittsburg: It is now within a Frick, of Northumberland, acted a conspicuous part. If few days of twelve months since, for the first time, I I have been rightly informed, this gentleman has been a visited that city, so interesting by its position, by its rapid distinguished friend of the present Chief Magistrate, and growth, by the character of its inhabitants, and by the has supported him and his measures, with ability, both history of early occurrences in its neighborhood. It was in and out of the Legislature of Pennsylvania. Is it panic, then all animation, activity, and cheerfulness. if the is it party spleen, is it ill-will to the President, which smoke of numerous manufactories and work-shops some. brought this highly respectable gentleman, and others what darkened the air and obscured the view of the charm. like him, to the convention? Certainly it is not. Nobody ing scenery around, it gave evidence, still, that occupacan believe it is. They were brought thither, and could tions were prosperous, and that labor was well paid, and only be brought thither, by that sense of duty which is happy in its daily toil. of thirty thousand inhabitants, it stronger than personal preference; by that true love of is said two-thirds of them owe their means of livelihood country which places principles above men. Would they to manufactures; and it may be asked, with emphasis, and not stand by the President if they could? Popular as he with alarm, unless activity be restored again to the loom still is, powerful as he is, would they not go on in their and the forge, what is to become of this mass of kuman support of his measures, if insurmountable obstacles were strength and industry, thus thrown out of employment? not in the way?
The memorial goes on to say, that the great staples of the There is another circumstance, sir, in the character of State are without a market; that many of its mines are, this convention, worthy of especial notice. Among its more or less, abandoned; that the manufactures of iron members were several who belong to that highly respect and cotton have fallen off one-third; and the products of able portion of our fellow-citizens, the society of Friends. the field sell only at reduced prices, when they sell at all. With one of them, a member of the committee who “ Turn where we will,” say the memorialists, “your brings this memorial to Congress, a most worthy and re- memorialists perceive one universal scene of present or opcotablo gontleman, I have the pleasure of some person- impending ruin, depressing the energies and darkening al acquaintance. He is advancing far into age, and yet, the prospects of the citizen." sir, he never attended a political meeting in his whole Now, sir, if these statements, put deliberately on paper life, until he went, with others of his society, last week, by this convention, and brought bither by its committee, to Harrisburg! When, sir, were the society of Friends will not convince the administration and its friends of the found to be political agitators, ambitious partisans, or fact of dissatisfaction and distress among the people, all panic-makers? When have they disturbed the commu- effort to produce conviction must fail. We are, indeed, nity with false cries of public danger, or joined in any I fear, attempting a hopeless task. All fact and all reaclamor against just and wise and constitutional govern- soning seem to fall powerless on the unimpressible, impen. ment? Sir, if there be any political fault fairly imputable etrable surface of party opinion. Every blow, however to the Friends, I think it is rather, if they will allow me to often repeated, rebounds from it as from the face of an say so, that they are sometimes a little too indifferent anvil. Men have become so committed, they have so far about the exercise of their political rights; a little too stepped in already, all their hopes are so entirely pledged ready to leave all matters respecting government in the and staked on the success of this grand "experiment,' hands of others. Not ambitious, usually, of honor or that any change of purpose appears to be out of the office, but peaceable and industrious, they desire only the question. safety of liberty, civil and religious, the security of prop- I can only repeat, therefore, sir, what I have so often erty, and the protection of honest labor. All they ask said, that I entertain faint hopes of relief, till public opinof Government is, that it be wisely and safely administer-ion shall produce it, by some change of public agents. ed. They are not desirous to interfere in its administra- The authors of this experiment have made up their minds tion. Yet, sir, a crisis can move them; and they think a to share its fate, to float with it, if they can keep it above crisis now exists. They bow down to nothing human water, and to sink with it, if it must go down. They still which raises its head higher than the constitution, or cry out that all is well, all is safe, all is prosperous, all is above the laws.
glorious; and argument, experience, the importunity, Such, sir, is the character, the composition, of this even the supplications of the people, have no more influconvention. I beseech gentlemen not to deceive either ence than the idle wind. themselves or others, by referring all its proceedings to Sir, I am happy to believe, as I do believe, that the cit. party influence and bank influence. Depend on it, sir, izens of the great State of Pennsylvania are awaking to a it had its origin, and owes its character, to a deep feeling just sense of the condition of the country. Since all our of dissatisfaction with measures of Government, a con- fortunes are so much connected with her own; since all viction of much public distress, and an honest alarm at that she does, and all that she omits to do, may affect the Executive claims of power. And depend on it, sir, if happiness of every man, not only within her own limits, these and other admonitions are not taken in time, if but in all the other States; it is natural that the whole nothing be done to quiet apprehension, and to relieve the country should regard her with interest. I doubt not, country, the sentiments of this convention will become, sir, she will examine the conduct of Government, and take and must become, more and more general among the counsel with her own thoughts, about the security of the people.
constitution, and the preservation of the authority of the This memorial, Mr. President, declares, that the cher. laws. I doubt not that she will well consider the present, ished policy of Pennsylvania, consisting of an encourage and look to the future; and if she finds all well, and all ment of her manufactures, has become impracticable and safe, if she feels no evil, and perceires no danger, she will